It’s hard to imagine not having a water heater in your home, when they’ve always been a staple in homes in the U.S. because of the many conveniences they can offer. Water heaters use an efficient energy source to heat water above its initial temperature. They produce a continuous supply of heated water at a fixed temperature, which is then used for a number of common household tasks such as cleaning, cooking, bathing and space heating. Water heaters can be set to whatever temperature you like, but which setting is the most ideal?
A trusted plumbing and air duct cleaning company in the area, R.A. Biel Plumbing & Heating, answers this question here.
How Hot Is Too Hot?
The fact is that water heaters don’t have a single, perfect temperature to which they should be set. Your water heater should be set according to your specific needs, not only to ensure your safety but to provide optimal comfort and function. Most homeowners set their water heater between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Whether you should maintain a higher or lower temperature depends on what you’ll be using the heated water for.
- Greater energy savings – The Department of Energy recommends leaving your water heating temperature at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This setting keeps water hot enough for everyday use while also helping keep energy costs down. If you plan to go out of town, you’re free to set the water temperature even lower, but keep in mind that doing so creates the potential for bacterial growth in the water. You should confirm this with your local plumbing and HVAC repair company before doing anything.
- Bacterial growth prevention – Your health should always be a priority, which is why it’s important that the water you use every day remains safe and clean. Bacteria can develop in lukewarm water, so make sure your heater is set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is hot enough to eliminate bacterial growth in the water, preventing it from putting those with a suppressed immune system at risk.
- Maximized dishwasher performance – Do you still own an older dishwasher that doesn’t pre-heat? If so, make sure to set the temperature of your water heater to 140 degrees. This way, the dishes will be cleaned thoroughly, which will help prevent bacteria from lingering on the surface of the dishes.
- High-traffic bathing times – In large-family homes, the line for morning showers tends to be longer. It’s a good idea to keep the water temperature at the 140 degree mark because of the higher demand. Note that this setting is only recommended in households that consist primarily of adults or those in their late teens. Trusted plumbers and HVAC maintenance experts like R.A. Biel Plumbing & Heating suggest lowering the water temperature to 120 degrees if you have younger children and seniors living with you. These age groups are extremely sensitive to high heat. By keeping the temperature 20 degrees lower, you’ll reduce the likelihood of someone being scalded.
Changing Your Water Heater’s Temperature Setting
Before you adjust the temperature setting on your water heater, make sure to check its manual for the necessary safety recommendations and precautions. If you have a gas-powered water heater, all you need to do is find the knob on the valve. Crank it to raise or lower the water temperature to your liking. Those who own an electric heater may find the task a bit trickier.
You’ll first need to switch off the water heater (it’s for your safety, so don’t forget!), then remove the thermostat cover and insulation. Use a flathead screwdriver to set the temperature of your water heater, making sure to set the top thermostat slightly higher than the bottom one. If you’re having trouble adjusting the temperature setting, consult a reliable plumbing and HVAC repair expert in your area.
Boosting Your Water Heater’s Performance and Efficiency
There are a few things you can do to keep your water heater at peak efficiency.
- If you have a tank-style water heater, for instance, you should consider insulating it to avoid standby heat loss.
- You may also replace old showerheads and faucets with low-flow options. Doing so will not only help reduce hot water use, but also prevent unnecessary strain being put on your water heater.
- With regular cleanup, ensuring reliable performance from your water heater will be worry-free. This task prevents mineral buildup inside the water tank, which can lead to increases in temperature and a shorter system lifespan when overlooked.
- If your existing water heater is an older model, you might want to replace it with something newer, better and more efficient. R.A. Biel Plumbing & Heating can help you with this. We specialize not only in HVAC maintenance, but in water heater installation as well. Our tankless NPE-2 options from Navien® check all the boxes of what a perfect water heater should be. They offer ultra-high efficiency up to 0.96 UEF to keep your utility bills low while providing continuous hot water. Moreover, they come with exclusive ComfortFlow® technology with a built-in recirculation pump and buffer tank for top-tier performance.
Why Choose R.A. Biel Plumbing & Heating
We’re a fully-licensed and -insured plumbing and HVAC company who has your best interest in mind. Once you have your Navien tankless water heater in place, how about dealing with your home’s heating and air conditioning needs? As a Carrier® Factory-Authorized Dealer, R.A. Biel Plumbing & Heating can provide you access to some of the highest-quality home heating options.
Check out our Carrier Performance™ 95 Gas-Fired Boiler, an ultra-compact, ultra-versatile, modulating hot water boiler that’s ENERGY STAR®-certified. Why not go for our Carrier Infinity® Series air conditioners, which are built to deliver efficient performance and consistent comfort? Just give us a call and we’ll discuss with you in detail how our Carrier products can enhance your home and quality of life.
Schedule a Consultation Today
R.A. Biel Plumbing & Heating isn’t just your go-to company for quality air duct cleaning; we can also take care of your water heating needs. Look no further for exceptional plumbing services you’d recommend to family and friends. We proudly serve homeowners in Farmington, NM, and other areas in San Juan County. Call us today at (505) 327-7755 or fill out this contact form to schedule a service. We’d love to hear from you!